Gulf migration specialist lectures students at NYU Abu Dhabi


Staff Report

Freshmen students attending a political sociology class at the prestigious New York University – Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have the rare opportunity to hear an expert’s take on the dynamics and complexity of migration, particularly in the Gulf region.

Froilan Malit Jr., migration specialist and managing director of the news and research platform Rights Corridor, engaged the young students in a brief yet comprehensive discussion titled, “Migration Politics in the Gulf”, which placed into perspective the issues on migration in the region.

Mr. Malit delved the challenges in migration, including tensions affecting diplomatic relations between the sending countries and host countries during the discussion.

“The NYU AD’s talk mainly focused on offering a critically nuanced snapshot of migration politics in the GCC and how different state and non-state actors impact migration dynamics, flows, and processes in the GCC,” said Mr. Malit.

“It also provided academic, policy, and field insights into the lives of bureaurats and migrants, and how such perspectives shape the broader migration discourses at local, regional, and international levels,” he added.

Mr. Malit said he was delight to see that the students appreciated the nuanced, multidisciplinary approach of his lecture, as well as the combination of theoretical and practical insights.

“Tough questions were also raised by NYU AD students, which also pushed me to think harder during the lecture series,” he mused.

Dr. Kristin Surak, visiting professor at the NYU AD who invited Mr. Malit for the talk finds the lecture “excellent overall” as it gave the students real-world insights into the complexity of migration policy formation and implementation.

“Froilan did a wonderful job of very clearly laying out the different actors, stakeholders, and interests involved in international migration policymaking and migration management.  His assessment was also very frank and accurate,” Dr. Surak said.

“Migration regulation is an issue in which there are no simple answers, even though some pretend there is a silver bullet. Froilan didn’t over-simply this very knotty topic, but engaged the complexity of dynamics involved.”

Dr. Surak added, the students appreciated the way Mr. Malit delivered his talk as they find him engaging and very persuasive as a speaker.

“They were very engaged throughout and several stayed afterwards to talk with Froilan longer.  Several leaped at the chance to ask questions — and ones probing the topic from a range of angles as well.  What chance do sending states have to get their goals across?  Do migration NGOs sell out on their values?   What can be done to improve the situation of migrant workers? Froilan offered clear and very straight answers to these questions, drawing from his years of on-the-ground experience in the field,” said Dr. Surak.